Against all odds, polls and projections Donald Trump claimed victory in the presidential election Tuesday, delivering a speech at the Hilton Hotel in New York City on Tuesday to a cheering crowd of supporters.
It was an unexpected outcome for the Republican candidate, who not only beat out a stacked GOP primary field with numerous, but also an even more formidable opponent in Hillary Clinton, who was consistently ahead of him in the polls up and in a much stronger position on the electoral map.
Not to mention, Trump has been mired in scandal and gaffe throughout the election: More than a dozen women have accused him of sexual assault after a hot mic tape revealing Trump bragging about “grabbing” women by the genitals, he has made vague insinuations connecting Obama and Clinton to terrorism groups, led a campaign built on wild inaccuracies and vague to nonexistent policy proposals and built his campaign on divisive anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, garnering even the support of white nationalists.
Despite all this however, Trump managed to strike a chord with the American people, as an unorthodox candidate without a political background, selling a call for a Southern border wall, a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants and his strong opposition to trade deals, among his other bombastic talking points.
All the worry over Trump’s possible refusal to concede the election are now moot. He is the one that got to accept Clinton’s concession.
Thank you. Thank you very much, everyone. Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business, complicated. Thank you very much.
I’ve just received a call from secretary Clinton. She congratulated us. It’s about us. On our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.
I mean she fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.
I mean that very sincerely. Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country. As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.
It is a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.
Working together we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I’ve spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world.
That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I’ve gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it. We will also finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal, and I’ve gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey.
The time I’ve spent with them during this campaign has been among my greatest honors.
Our veterans are incredible people. We will embark upon a project of national growth and renewal. I will harness the creative talents of our people and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage their tremendous talent for the benefit of all. It is going to happen. We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time we will get along with all other nations, willing to get along with us. We will be. We will have great relationships. We expect to have great, great relationships. No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach.
America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that. We’re going to dream of things for our country, and beautiful things and successful things once again.
I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone.
All people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict. And now I would like to take this moment to thank some of the people who really helped me with this, what they are calling tonight a very, very historic victory.
First I want to thank my parents, who I know are looking down on me right now. Great people. I’ve learned so much from them. They were wonderful in every regard. I are truly great parents. I also want to thank my sisters, Marianne and Elizabeth who are here with us tonight. Where are they? They’re here someplace. They’re very shy actually.
And my brother Robert, my great friend. Where is Robert? Where is Robert?
My brother Robert, and they should be on this stage but that’s okay. They’re great.
And also my late brother Fred, great guy. Fantastic guy. Fantastic family. I was very lucky.
Great brothers, sisters, great, unbelievable parents. To Melania and Don and Ivanka and Eric and Tiffany and Barron, I love you and I thank you, and especially for putting up with all of those hours. This was tough.
(Editor’s note: The transcript may have missing words or phrases)